November 22nd, marks Equal Pay Day, a day in which we take the wage differences based on gender into account (though whether there should only be a day dedicated to that is questionable). Shockingly, from today until the end of the year, women are essentially working for free, when comparing their wages to male counterparts.
Data suggests that we still have a long way to go until we close the gender pay gap, with those who are 40 and over, born before 1983, unlikely to see the gender pay gap close before they reach the age of retirement.
Harriet Harman, who is the Chair of the Fawcett Society, says that the gender pay gap is simply closing too slowly. She goes on to say that with woman over 40 having to suffer the pay gap until they retire, which is unfair and unjust.
She then goes on to explain that flexibility has a huge part to play, with many women accepting lesser pay and in some cases, working conditions working, in exchange for more flexible working patterns. It’s said that urgent action is needed to ensure woman are ‘allowed to work to their full level of skills and experience’ and that if caring responsibilities were efficiently split between men and woman, these sacrifices would no longer have to be made by woman alone.
On the flip side, DR Zara Nanu, who works for XpertHR goes on to explain that businesses shouldn’t feel discouraged by these factors, as we’ve never been ‘more equipped to enact change than we are today’. She also explains that technology can play a vital part in addressing pay gap concerns, especially in terms of identifying and analysing issues and solutions.
What steps is your company taking to reduce the gender pay gap?